The relationship between daily mean FSH concentrations in serum and the pattern of FSH detected by frequent sampling for 12-h periods (samples every 15 min) was examined in five mares during the transition into the breeding season. The five mature anestrous mares were exposed to a natural increase in daylength. Blood samples were collected daily from February 1 until the first ovulation of the breeding season (April 14 +/- 3.7 days, Mean +/- SEM). Periods of frequent blood collection were performed every two weeks. Blood samples were obtained daily by jugular venipuncture or jugular cannula (frequent samples). Mean daily concentrations of FSH in serum determined by RIA decreased during seasonal transition. Patterns of FSH in serum detected by frequent sampling were pulsatile. FSH pulse amplitude decreased during seasonal transition, and the decrease in amplitude was associated with the decrease in mean serum FSH concentrations. This decrease in FSH pulse amplitude may reflect an involvement of a follicular product from developing follicles or a change in hypothalamic stimulation of pituitary FSH release.